Posts Tagged ‘Emotions’

Our host church, Cinco Ranch Church of Christ will be closed in observance of Independence Day on Tuesday, July 4th so we are canceling the Castimonia Tuesday night meeting at this church. The meeting will resume the following Tuesday night at its regular time and location.

For an alternate meeting, please visit the Sugar Land location at the Vineyard Church.

Tuesday Nights
Time: 7:00PM – 8:30PM
Location: Vineyard Church of Sugar Land
Mosaic Room (Ring door bell and enter through FRONT door.  Go to the second floor)
5015 Grove West Boulevard
Stafford, TX  77477
Contact: Troy P. at 713.906.6658 or

The leaders of Castimonia would like to state that forgiveness is not so much for the person that committed the transgression against you, but for you and your healing.

by Bevill and Associates

Scenario: My husband committed adultery (or viewed pornography…again!) and has asked me to forgive him. I don’t think I can forgive him, but I know God has told us to forgive one another. How can I get past my feelings?

Woman Alone and Hurt

First of all, we must realize that forgiveness is not a feeling, but it is an action God commands. We must choose whether we will obey by faith (in spite of our feelings) or disobey His command (because of our feelings). In Ephesians 4:32, God gave us the model when He forgave our sins at great cost to Himself but with grace and mercy to us.

Refusing to forgive binds us, not the person who has sinned against us (Matt. 6:14-15). God’s ways always lead to the abundant life, to freedom and blessings, even when they are hard paths, or feel impossible, from our human perspective. God teaches us how to reach out and love with His love, to forgive with His forgiveness, to return His blessing for their cursing (Rom. 12:9-21). Only genuine heart change allows the Holy Spirit to do such a wonderful work in our hearts that we can love those we would rather hate!

I hear excuses all the time about why someone just can’t forgive. Here are a few:

“How can I forgive him after what he’s done to our marriage?” His intent most likely was not to destroy the marriage. His sin does affect the marriage, but so does your response to his sin! Forgiving may point him to Christ and to godly sorrow that produces the fruit of repentance and change (2 Cor. 7:9-10). Your godly response may actually help to redeem the marriage!

“How can I forgive him again?” How many times has the Lord forgiven you? Matt. 17:3-4 makes it very clear we must repeatedly forgive. But notice the next verse where the disciples are begging for faith to obey. Yet the Lord’s response paraphrased says, “You don’t need more faith, you just need to put your little bit of faith into action and do what is your duty, to obey me!” Wow! That can be hard, but it is the right thing to do when he is truly repentant, and only the Lord knows that! So, we forgive again.

“How can I forgive him? This is way too big!” His sin is big, but so is mine! God doesn’t measure sin by the same yardstick you and I do. He measures it against absolute obedience to Him, and we all fall pitifully short! Yet the Lord warns us strongly against playing god and thinking we hold the yardstick for others to live up to (Matt. 7:1-5).

“How can I forgive him after his total betrayal of me?” Paul understood the principle that to share in the suffering of Christ makes us more like Christ (Phil. 3:10). Our experience of betrayal helps us to identify with his. Peter taught us that suffering when we are doing the right thing reveals God’s glory in us (1 Pet. 4:12-14, 19). The Christian life is not about me, but about honoring my Lord, especially in the deepest trials of life.

“How can I forgive him when he hasn’t repented?” His repentance is between him and God, so we forgive from the heart and trust God to convict and change him from the inside out. That typically doesn’t happen overnight, but God has made a promise to each of His own to complete what He has started in us (Phil. 1:6)! Pray for God to do His work in your husband and He will – in His time and His way.

“How can I forgive him when I don’t feel it?” Forgiveness is a heart issue. Forgive anyone anything (Mark 11:25). It’s an act of obedience. The feelings come when forgiveness is asked for and granted, and then there is a “forgetfulness” modeled after the way God removes our sin and remembers it no more (Jer. 31:34). We must choose not to remember the offences so we don’t use them in destructive ways.

“How can I forgive him when he hasn’t asked?” You can’t! God doesn’t forgive us until we ask. Butyou can have a heart ready and willing to forgive him the moment he does ask, just as God forgives us the moment we ask. You will have fulfilled your duty toward God and toward your husband when your heart desires repentance more than anything for him. That means you don’t shortcut God’s convicting power over his sin by saying prematurely to him that you have forgiven him, but only saying you are willing to forgive when he repents and asks. The transaction is complete when forgiveness is asked for and granted! God provided for our forgiveness long before we asked!

“How can I forgive him when I keep thinking about it?” When forgiveness has been asked and granted, it is your responsibility to exercise thought control and think of his sin only in the context of God’s grace. You no longer dwell on it or replay the video in your mind, because that keeps bitterness stirred up in you.

“How can I forgive him if his sin is a common topic with my family or friends?”Gossip is a desire to make others judge the offender just as you have judged him. It is talking to people who are not a part of the problem or a part of the solution. Discussion about his sin must cease once the issue has been settled, and that includes bringing it up to him, using it as a weapon to wound him just as he wounded you. That is what it means to remember it no more just as God does for our sin (Jer. 31:34). We will never stand in judgment for our sin because it has been forgiven (Rom. 8:1).

“How can I forgive God for letting him do this to me?” God has never sinned and will never sin, and therefore needs no one’s forgiveness; this is blasphemy to falsely accuse God. God never tempts anyone to sin (James 1:13-16) and cannot be blamed when anyone chooses to sin. God does allow us to make sinful choices. Freedom to choose parallels His love, but sometimes we make foolish choices. Thank God for grace and mercy!

“How can I forgive him when I can’t even forgive myself?” This excuse makes my standard of perfection above God’s. My comparison and expectation for myself and others will always fall short (2 Cor. 10:12). That’s why we desperately need God’s grace and mercy, all of us! We are never commanded to forgive ourselves, but to accept God’s forgiveness.  We then grant the same forgiveness to others, recognizing all sin is first and foremost sin against God, and He forgives anyone who asks.

“How can I forgive him when I still don’t trust him?” Trust takes time to rebuild. It is not the same as forgiveness that comes from your own heart. Rebuilding trust is the responsibility of the offender, as he demonstrates over time his faithfulness, dependability, accountability, and consistency. But you must allow him that time as you invest in the relationship, and he must work toward rebuilding the trust by faithfully honoring God and you to the best of his human ability.

“Maybe I will forgive someday, but not today!” Eph. 4:26-27 tells us to not keep holding onto those things that make us angry because it gives the devil a foothold in our hearts and keeps our bitterness alive (Heb. 12:15). Settling and forgiving offences is God’s way for each of us!

I’ve heard all of these excuses, but the best definition of an excuse I’ve ever heard is A skin of a reason, stuffed with a LIE!” Let’s all examine ourselves to see that we are living by faith in Truth, not with excuses of why we can’t forgive someone!

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I have written several times about intimacy. I believe that this is probably the most important part of my understanding of why. When I say why I mean why I ended up where I did. Why I ended up deceiving my wife and family, searching to fill a never ending need that wouldn’t go away and that I couldn’t control. Keeping separate the parts of my life and actions that I didn’t want to and couldn’t face. Why did it take something catastrophic for me to see that God didn’t design me this way? Why did it take the very real possibility of losing my wife, my children, my life? And what do I do with it? What benefit has this given me? Doesn’t God cause everything to work for the good of those who love Him according to His purpose (roughly Romans 8:28)?

I was in Bible study a few weeks ago. The lesson was on Peter. Peter, I get. Peter was up. Peter was down. Peter was humiliated by his own failures multiple times and still made mistakes over and over. Yep, I really get Peter. So this study was talking about how Peter was transformed to be able to transform others. Ok, I am listening. How did that work?

So first, Jesus changed his name from Simon to Peter. He specifically stated in front of everyone that his name was now Peter, the rock on which He would build His church. This was the proclamation of who Peter was to be. Only he wasn’t that guy yet. He had to be ready. And he wasn’t. See, Peter didn’t know who he was yet. He didn’t know that he was broken and flawed and that Jesus wanted that part of him, too. He had to know that. And he didn’t yet.

So, Jesus proclaimed that he was Peter but he kept calling him Simon after this proclamation. Because..,he wasn’t Peter yet. He wasn’t ready and he didn’t know. Jesus called him Peter again…He proclaimed he was the rock…when He told him that he would deny Him three times. That’s when he was the rock. The foundation of the church. When he was broken. When he finally knew that he was broken. When he finally hit the very bottom, that’s when Peter was ready. That’s when he knew who he was.

That’s what it took for me to know. To know who I am. To start resembling the description of broken people instead of proud people. Surrendered to God instead of self sufficient. Grateful for what I have instead of thinking on what I deserve. Giving and self denying instead of selfish and demanding. Thankful to be used by God instead of focused on what I have done for God and wanting recognition for it. Easy to correct instead of defensive when criticized. I had to find out who I was. I had to know.

Now that I know, I can be known. I can be known by God and by others. I will not forget the past or wish to shut the door on it. That means knowing my own brokenness and allowing others to know it. So God can use me and build something. Something that is for His glory. Not mine.

… for the enemy flies around like a rogue soccer ball looking to strike!

1 Corinthians 5:10-11 – ““You must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or a sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler.””

Is it really necessary to set boundaries with “bad” people? Why draw the line if we’re their only hope to help them repent or change their ways? In 1 Corinthians 5:9-13, the Apostle Paul answers this perplexing question:

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people — not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or a sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people. What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. Expel the wicked person from among you.

The Bible contains admonitions for us to separate ourselves from fellow Christians who act in destructive ways (see Matthew 18:15 – 17; 1 Corinthians 5:9 – 13). If we do this, we are not being unloving. Separating ourselves protects love because we are taking a stand against things that destroy love.

We really can’t set limits “on” others — in that we cannot control them. What we can do is set limits on our own exposure to people who are behaving poorly; we can’t change them or make them behave correctly.

Our model is God. He does not set limits on people to force them to behave. God sets standards for people to follow, but people have the freedom to obey or disobey. If they choose to disobey, God allows them to suffer the consequences, but as we see in this passage, God does not give up on those who have failed. Heaven is a place for the repentant, and all are welcome.

Our model is God. He does not set limits on people to force them to behave. God sets standards for people to follow, but people have the freedom to obey or disobey. If they choose to disobey, God allows them to suffer the consequences, but as we see in this passage, God does not give up on those who have failed. Heaven is a place for the repentant, and all are welcome.

This devotional is drawn from Boundaries, by John Townsend and Henry Cloud

Originally posted at:

Comedian Chris Rock recently joined with other celebrities in speaking out on the life-changing harmful effects of pornography.

Rock recently divorced from his wife of 16 years, and in his recent popular standup show comedy tour “Total Blackout,” he cited porn as a big reason why. Recording wasn’t allowed at the show, but accounts from the show confirm that Rock talked about being “addicted” to porn, cheating on his wife several times while he was on tour, being 15 minutes late to everything because of his porn addiction, being unable to look people in the eye, and failing to notice normal social cues.

With counseling, he was able to overcome his addiction, but it came at a serious price—the end of a marriage that had lasted nearly two decades.

Porn’s Harms Are No Joke

Now, we know that Chris Rock is a comedian—his business is to tell jokes, to make us laugh about uncomfortable things. But that shouldn’t take away the impact of what he says, though. While we don’t know the details of his struggle or of his personal life, Rock was bold enough to lay his experiences out for all to see, and though he might not have said that porn was the reason his marriage ended, he made it clear that it was a contributing factor. And his situation would be in good company, seeing as pornography can double a marriage’s chances for ending in divorce.

We know that porn damages relationships, sometimes beyond repair. The evidence is overwhelming—just read this personal account about watching porn together, or this woman’s experience with her husband’s disinterest in sex, or this story about feelings of betrayal as a result of porn use in the relationship. The addictive nature of porn can physically change your brain, making it desire more extreme content to achieve ever-diminishing amounts of pleasure. This can lead to an increase in real-life violent and extreme acts, or to the things Rock talked about in his show—apathy, neglect, and lack of commitment.

How Relationships Suffer

They’re not physical violence, but these porn-fueled behaviors can be just as damaging to people and relationships—if you need more proof, read about how actor Terry Crews saved his marriage after years of struggle with porn, but just barely. When porn negatively affects a relationship, it’s not just a personal hobby anymore. Two people are now feeling the effects, and the fact is, porn is like a wedge that can slowly drive a relationship apart. It might not even be noticeable while it’s happening, but it can become obvious, and at that point it might be passed the point of reconciliation.

“My wife was literally like, ‘I don’t know you anymore, I’m out of here,’” said Crews of his porn addicted past.

Like Rock, Crews was only able to overcome his addiction through therapy. The difference, of course, is that Crews was able to save his marriage before it was too late, a good reminder that seeking help is a much better alternative to being ashamed and waiting until it’s too late to save a relationship.

This Growing Movement

The understanding that porn isn’t harmless personal entertainment is growing in our culture. States, organizations, and individuals are becoming more and more aware of the harmful socialmental, and physical effects of pornography, and it’s becoming more and more common to see new stories of public figures adding their two cents to the ever-expanding “Hey, maybe porn is actually a real problem” piggy bank.

These testimonials aren’t always coming from the most traditional sources, either, which just goes to show that porn negatively affects a broad cross section of people—just take a look at this short list ofcelebrities who have recently spoken out against porn. Add their names to the list of states like Utah, South Dakota, Virginia, Tennessee, and Arkansas that have declared porn a “public health crisis,” and you’ll see that this movement of education and awareness is growing every day.

We applaud Chris Rock for speaking out on porn’s effect on his life, and we hope that his experience would be a wake-up call to others who might be struggling with the same thing.

Ps 103:11-12 – For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;  as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. ESV

Today. That’s my timeline. It used to be much more long term. How do I plan for and control what happens tomorrow or a week from now or next year. How do I make sure what I want to happen happens in the future. I don’t. Not really anymore. The realization for me is to focus on today. And follow the serenity prayer. To accept the things I can’t change. The courage to act and to change the things I can. Hopefully, also the wisdom to know the difference. So that’s how I focus on each day. God, let me accept that you are in control of today, tomorrow, next week and next year. Allow me to focus on what I can change. That is my actions today.

This led me to something else. Something that I recently wrote about. I wrote that I was wrong. Also that I am wrong. I am realizing and understanding that isn’t exactly true. I wasn’t wrong. I did wrong. I am not wrong. I do wrong. Sounds like a technicality but hear me out.

This goes back to a previous discussion about shame. In my life before recovery, I had incorporated into my life that I was wrong. That I was bad. That I was sin. Through reading, through counseling, through groups I have come to understand the difference. I am not wrong or bad or sin. I did wrong, I did bad, I acted in sin. Incorporating that I am bad or wrong into my identity is against what God intends and is what kept me in that cycle of sin. You know it as shame. And its so pervasive that I have slipped back into that way of thinking subtly.

I didn’t see it. I didn’t see that I had shifted in my thinking in how I was thinking about and classifying my past. Understandably, my wife struggles seeing the good in our marriage before I entered this time I call recovery. Without recognizing it, I started doing the same. Not seeing that it wasn’t black and white: before and after recovery. I had started thinking of my life as what came before recovery and where I am now. I realize now the danger in that.

The time before I entered recovery was just that; it was the time before I entered recovery. It wasn’t that I all of a sudden transformed from “bad” to “good.” Without realizing it, that is how I started classifying my life. Only…that isn’t right. I wasn’t “bad” and I am not all of a sudden “good.” I am broken. Then and now. Only, now I fully realize that I am broken.

I was talking with a friend recently who is also in recovery. I guess the better way to say it is my friend also realizes his own brokenness. I like the way he put it. He said that he used to be able to compartmentalize his life. He would put away the parts he didn’t want to think about or deal with in their separate boxes and he would just not think about them or address them. But they were still there. Now, all those compartments are broken. All the parts of his life are there. That resonates with me. The awareness. I am aware of my flaws, my faults, the damage I have caused. I no longer hide that away in boxes. All my boxes are open.

Am I bad? Am I good? I am broken. Do I do bad things? Do I do good things? I do. Thankfully I am aware of all of them. They are part of in my brokenness who I am. So I address them. I don’t compartmentalize them or box them up. I deal with them…a day at a time.